Next: , Up: Constants   [Contents][Index] Numeric and String Constants

A numeric constant stands for a number. This number can be an integer, a decimal fraction, or a number in scientific (exponential) notation.31 Here are some examples of numeric constants that all have the same value:


A string constant consists of a sequence of characters enclosed in double quotation marks. For example:


represents the string whose contents are ‘parrot’. Strings in gawk can be of any length, and they can contain any of the possible eight-bit ASCII characters, including ASCII NUL (character code zero). Other awk implementations may have difficulty with some character codes.



The internal representation of all numbers, including integers, uses double-precision floating-point numbers. On most modern systems, these are in IEEE 754 standard format. See Arbitrary Precision Arithmetic, for much more information.